Friday, May 1, 2009 - Where were these guys when I was 16??!!!

The Internet continues to amaze me and yet at the same time, it keeps evolving in ways that address our perceived needs.

I remember vividly my teenage years, wanting to know so many things, and being so frustrated by the lack of a resource. From simple debates with friends and family as to whether the actor in the movie we’d just watched was the same actor we’d known from a TV show years earlier. There was just no way to solve the debates. No library resource could help. I was perceiving the NEED even then.

But I was no computer boffin – I couldn’t even figure out the Commodore 64 game my Dad has just bought, and the computer class that had just been introduced alongside typing was my most dreaded course. The flashing square on the black screen, with the robotic font and all that basic programming language was the farthest thing from a usable tool. I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined what the Internet would become. I realize these comments risk me dating myself horribly...

Today I look to the Internet for almost everything! I pull out my iphone around the table at a restaurant with friends and log in to the Web to answer the question everyone is hotly debating. It is so gratifying! This is what I wanted at 16!
(This statement is REALLY going to date me>>> The kids today are amazing. Their imaginations are in tune with what the Internet has become and what it can become.

They have been creating it, masters of it’s evolution… and some of them have become millionaires for their vision and their dedication to making those changes. Look at the history of Google, or Skype or even Napster. All of them have one thing in common – kids with a vision and the guts to introduce it to the world, with the result of changing our lives through the Internet.

My son has always been a dreamer, a creative soul. He is also an Internet baby. He can talk your ear off about Web 2.0 (those of you ‘aged’ like me may not know that Web 2.0 is the next phase of the evolution of the Internet). It is what is happening now. Web communities are developing and providing forums for people on every subject, every interest you could imagine, and many you couldn’t.

If you ask him about his friends, he might give you a list of people from around the globe, most of whom he’s never physically met. They are people he’s ‘met’ on the Internet. Yes all the parental red flags go off as we’ve all been brain-washed into believing the Internet is full of pedophiles posing as nice kids… but he’s proven me wrong.

In fact, he has teamed up with some of the kids that are making the changes to the Internet that make the news and enhance our lives in the end. These guys have worked day and night for over 6months on a new website that is a new concept for the Web 2.0 generation. He’s now involved with them on the design of the site and he’s having Skype meetings weekly. My son, ‘working’ at 16! is the site and it’s the brainchild of Robert Newcomb aka ‘Bobbo’, a 21 year old from Philadelphia who has been doing web design since early 2003. He realized that there was something missing in the traditional search engines, in that they are simply designed in an ‘ask a question, get an answer’ format. He decided he wanted to build the frontier website about questions and answers. He created a clean layout (only showing you things you need), easy to use by anyone with an Internet connection, and ensured there was zero spam. He approached his friends with the idea in October 2008. They are now a team of five.

After working 14-hour days, he released the site in February this year to a tremendous reception. The site is called has the strength, motive, and the dedication behind it to produce something that will, in time, become the leading source for answers on the web. Despite the site still being early in its expansion, I can see the potential it has. is not a search engine, but provides a community, giving you real contact with real people who are willing to answer your questions and give their views. The Googles of the world can look through something that's already been written, but an entire community, devoted to organizing their thoughts one subject at a time, is truly amazing.

Instead of searching all over the web for your information, you can directly ask your questions on the site and get direct answers by other members. When you’re not asking questions, you can then browse around and answer questions that you have certain expertise in. With enough growth, you have a powerful machine at your disposal. Where were these guys when I was 16?!!!!

The site has a true sense of community, and quite a number of regulars.

The team is working round the clock with new upgrades and they are coming out with a tagging system to increase the organization of the questions, and to allow members to be fully enveloped in subject matters that interest them.

To go the way of Google and the others that mushroomed to success, they need some financial backing and some exposure - and what better place to find exposure than the World Wide Web!

I think it’s amazing and I’m proud to have anything to do with it – even if it is living vicariously through my son’s involvement. Go guys!!!

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